Czech scientists breed “better carp”
Scientists from the Faculty of Fisheries and Water Protection at the University of South Bohemia have successfully bred a new breed of carp – the most common fish in Czech rivers and ponds. The Amur Mirror Carp is the first new fish breed created in the Czech Republic in more than twenty years and as its name suggests, it is related to a carp living in the remote Amur River in Asia.
Martin Kocour, vice dean at the Faculty of Fisheries and Water Protection at the University of South Bohemia, has long been involved in the research of the Amur Mirror carp. He outlined the main reasons behind trying to create a new variety, a process which started back in 1993:
“We wanted to improve carp production and to make it more effective. And in order to do that, we have to continue in selective breeding of carp all the time. So this was the main task for us.
"We found that this variety is especially suitable for crossing with other commonly used breeds and it has a higher resistance to many diseases, especially the Koi disease that has been threatening carp production in Europe. It also grows faster and has a higher survival rate compared to other commonly used carp.”
The name of the new carp breed, Amur Mirror Carp, is based on its main ancestor, the Amur Wild Carp. The main difference between the common carp varieties and the new one is the absence of scales. Martin Kocour again:
“It is in fact a slightly different species of carp compared to carps living Europe and in the Czech Republic. At the first sight it is almost impossible to distinguish the breed from the others. It has the same size but in fact their shape is more prolonged and the oblong body shape which resembles the original scaly ancestor.”
So far, the Amur Mirror Carp is only kept in fish farms for breeding purposes, so Czechs, who will spend summer holidays at one of South Bohemia’s numerous ponds, are not likely to come across the new breed.